After whittling down their list of restricted free agents down to five yesterday, the Habs knocked that number down by one more as they announced the re-signing of Mike Reilly to a two-year contract with a $1.5 million cap hit.
Reilly spent most of last season as a regular but saw his playing time whittle away down the stretch as the team preferred to play Christian Folin while shifting Jordie Benn back to his natural left side. Nonetheless, he still logged a career-best 18:41 per night, more than three minutes higher than his career average while chipping in with 11 points in 57 games. That playing time would have given Reilly some leverage had he filed for salary arbitration and that almost certainly came into play here. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this deal.
As things stand on the left side of Montreal’s back end, Reilly would slot in behind Brett Kulak and Victor Mete while remaining ahead of players like Karl Alzner, Xavier Ouellet, and Gustav Olofsson who are all likely ticketed for Laval next season. However, if GM Marc Bergevin is able to add someone to that group in the coming days, he could find himself the odd man out on the depth chart to start the season.
Montreal now has 41 players under contract for next season out of the limit of 50. Joel Armia, Charles Hudon, Artturi Lehkonen, and Michael McCarron are their remaining restricted free agents to re-sign.